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1666 posts tagged with history.
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A People's History of Great Britain, Canada and Australia

I'm a huge fan of Howard Zinn's book "A People's history of the United States" and I'm looking for close equivalents for Britain, Australia and Canada.
posted by asharchist on Oct 29, 2014 - 14 answers

Life expectancy through history, but not skewed by infant mortality?

I want to know how long people usually lived in different historical periods, but all the charts I can find are heavily skewed by infant mortality rates. (See e.g.). Can anyone point me toward a similar break-down that removes infant mortality from the calculations?
posted by SpiralT on Oct 26, 2014 - 6 answers

Recommendations for books on the history of science?

My question is two-fold, really. First, please recommend to me all of your favorite titles on the history of science, math, technology, and medicine. Secondly, how do you go about searching for good books in these topics? My favorite booksellers don't have a "history of science" search tag, unfortunately. Some of my past favorites and extended explanation below the fold. [more inside]
posted by backwards compatible on Oct 19, 2014 - 30 answers

Peasants and the Eucharist

Did English peasants in the Late Middle Ages--say, 14th c.--take Communion? If so, how often? How about the other sacraments?
posted by jwhite1979 on Oct 18, 2014 - 16 answers

Early 19th c. immigration practices?

Before Ellis Island there was Castle Garden. Before Castle Garden ...? [more inside]
posted by John Borrowman on Oct 14, 2014 - 4 answers

Easy-reading history and politics sites

Can you recommend a website that has easy-to-understand recaps of important historical and political issues? I used to think history and politics were boring but after I returned to university and have been exposed to more of it, I've become fascinated to learn more. [more inside]
posted by oceanview on Oct 9, 2014 - 3 answers

Historical situations where the seemingly right choice was very wrong

I'm looking for historical/political situations or decisions that made perfect, logical sense at the time but in retrospect seem terribly misguided or worse. These should be situations that when presented very simply, it is clear and easy to say, "Obviously XYZ is the right choice " but where in fact XYZ ends up being an awful choice. Example and further details inside. [more inside]
posted by _DB_ on Oct 9, 2014 - 43 answers

Essay question has too many permutations or am I overthinking this?

For my son’s high school history class, he has been assigned an in-class argument/opinion essay. The teacher ended most of the lecturing this week and has given them time to prepare thesis statements for the essays. Here is where it starts to get complicated (at least to my son and me): [more inside]
posted by bionic.junkie on Oct 8, 2014 - 25 answers

Historical Examples of "Giving a Child to God"

In the bible we have the example of the Prophet Samuel, whose mother is so grateful for him that she gives him to God to be raised by the priest Eli. Has this ever been a common practice – children being given over to an organized religious organization? Can anyone give me examples? More specifically, has the Vatican ever done this? [I'm not interested in the Philomena type of stories, with young girls getting pregnant, just because I'm already aware of them.]
posted by visual mechanic on Oct 8, 2014 - 17 answers

Definitive Holocaust Video to Supplement Maus?

Thanks to the wonderful responses I received in the question of "What would be in your best high school english class?" I've started the year by reading Art Spiegelman's Maus. What's wonderful is that my incredibly reluctant readers are actually reading and enjoying the book, what's not wonderful is they don't seem to understand that the Holocaust was a VERY BAD THING. I'm looking, ideally, for a 1 hour documentary that does just that. [more inside]
posted by kinetic on Oct 4, 2014 - 27 answers

Are there connections between U.S. bankers and moguls and the Nazis?

Articles like this talk about links between the Nazi regime and the Rockefellers, Warburgs, and others. Is there any validation for this line of thought?
posted by DMelanogaster on Sep 30, 2014 - 7 answers

Which portable recorder for an oral history project?

I'm a researcher with no film experience, and am beginning to think about an oral history project, which best case would become a short film. The theme is regional accents, so audio quality is important. [more inside]
posted by mmiddle on Sep 27, 2014 - 25 answers

I'm looking for real life food mysteries. Where would I find them?

I heard a story on This American Life HERE and it's a story about a sausage maker who inadvertently ruins their product by getting a new building. IN the end, it turned out the problem was they had shortened the route of the final delivery of the sausages and removed what was thought to be the unimportant work of a clerk named Irving. I thought it was fascinating and I want to find other stories like that. Where would I look for them?
posted by rileyray3000 on Sep 26, 2014 - 36 answers

This day in this history, that history, and this other history....

I maintain a small Twitter feed where I do a "This day in history as illustrated with cool books from Open Library" thing. I often use Wikipedia's day thing (today's example) and it's often all about the history of men, conquest, nation states/building and a bunch of other things that aren't always relevant to my interests. I need more options. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Sep 25, 2014 - 11 answers

Intersecionality and bodies

I'd like to read about the intersection of bodies, disability, race, gender, and class. All writing (and other?) genres welcome. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Sep 25, 2014 - 7 answers

Looking for average voyage times in the Age of Sail

Hi, for a project I need a list of average travel times for sailing voyages during the 16th-early 18th centuries. Unfortunately, the web is unusually unhelpful- I can find travel times from Europe to America, but information for my other destinations is scanty. [more inside]
posted by happyroach on Sep 22, 2014 - 8 answers

Help me understand the history of the Middle East

The recent conflict in Gaza has reminded me that one of the things that I have wanted to read up on is the recent history of the Middle East, particularly Israel. Can anyone recommend comprehensive and (somewhat) objective books on the subject? [more inside]
posted by Grinder on Sep 22, 2014 - 10 answers

Social Media Etiquette for the Networked Era

What is the current day etiquette around maintaining and removing connections on LinkedIn? [more inside]
posted by infini on Sep 21, 2014 - 18 answers

Lesser-known women in technology

Who are some important women in technology that are lesser-known in the world? Especially women of color, LGBTQ women, and non-American women? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Sep 15, 2014 - 44 answers

How to Become an Expert in Foreign News?

I have been offered a somewhat prestigious job in foreign news. I have been working in other areas of journalism for the last decade, but am not particularly well versed in international news. So I am looking to bone up on, basically, the entire history of the world, all of its current political leaders/conflicts, geography, current expert thinkers/critics on regional international questions. Aside from getting a world map shower curtain, what else should I be doing? [more inside]
posted by amoeba on Sep 14, 2014 - 16 answers

The pre-modern breast pump was a man? Tell me more about tetaires.

In The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, the following sentence has prompted much speculation: "There were rebilhous, who called out the hours of the night, 'cinderellas', who collected and sold ashes used for laundering clothes, men called tetaires, who performed the function of a breast-pump by sucking mothers' breasts to start the flow of milk, and all the other specialists that the census listed under 'trades unknown' and 'without trade', which usually meant gypsies prostitutes, and beggars." So, uh, tetaires? [more inside]
posted by poodelina on Sep 13, 2014 - 5 answers

Tell me about the world

Today I read this article about Iraq, and I'm so glad I did. It is a well written history of middle east conflict, that's entertaining enough that I read the whole thing to the end. I know it isn't comprehensive (and I'm sure it contains details that are debatable), but it has turned me into a more educated news reader. Now I'm hungry to learn more about other places as well. [more inside]
posted by superfish on Sep 12, 2014 - 3 answers

Inheritance Tax on estimated value of photo negatives left behind? WUTT?

An acquaintance's brother-in-law, a retired photojournalist (Newsweek, Time), has left specific instructions to destroy his negatives after his death so his family won't be hit by US inheritance taxes on the estimated market value of the collection. He sells through Getty and Polaris so this is a valid financial threat (he believes). Kinda sad, I think. He did a close up and personal pictorial project with a young Bob Dylan living in New York, and these rare shots would be destroyed, along with... [more inside]
posted by spock on Sep 10, 2014 - 24 answers

What class ticket would the Wright Brothers have purchased?

Descriptions of pre-War transatlantic ocean liners make it clear that wealthy passengers traveled first class, and poor immigrants traveled third class, but I'm fuzzy on who exactly would be traveling second class. In particular, I'm not sure what class tickets Wilbur and Orville Wright would have bought on their various crossings, particularly the earlier ones before their first public flights. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities on Sep 9, 2014 - 5 answers

Once more unto the breach...

I'm making a collection of ideas and best practices for history teachers. If you had an amazing history teacher, in either middle school or high school, what did they do that captured your interest? If you teach history, what have you seen work? [more inside]
posted by kingfishers catch fire on Sep 8, 2014 - 24 answers

Book recommendation filter

I want to read a book about the sociohistory of inflation: something like Graeber's Debt is the closest analog that comes to mind, tho probably a poor one. Does such exist? [more inside]
posted by PMdixon on Sep 7, 2014 - 3 answers

Seach engines store search history

I think we know that the search engine providers store a history of your searches. We hear about law enforcement checking someone's search history for the poison and bomb-making searches they have done, etc. etc. But some search engines now do predictive search as you type out the letters. Auto suggestion or instant match or whatever they call it. So as you type .... b-o-m-b-, the suggestions and sometimes results appear (bombay bicycle club, bomber jacket, bomb timers, etc.). You can certainly get the search results you may be looking for without ever press enter. And with some, the search result change as you scroll up and down a list that it has suggested for you based on the first few letters typed. So when/what is the record of your searches made? It is every letter you type? or only when 'enter' is pressed? or the position of the cursor as you scroll through a list? Or only whatever's in the search box when a link is clicked (so you see read the page summaries without that being tracked, but if you click a link, then that's a search 'hit')? I don't know. Could you help me understand please?
posted by Xhris on Sep 5, 2014 - 2 answers

Nudge nudge wink wink: Where could someone get gay porn in the 1930s?

For fictional purposes, I need to know where someone could get porn (specifically photos, not necessarily films) for gay men in the 1930s/40s. This has been annoyingly difficult to find on an internet search, and I unfortunately don't have the time to get a lot of library books and sift through them to find this out. [more inside]
posted by emcat8 on Sep 4, 2014 - 14 answers

Name that book: black soldier hosted with British family during WW2

The book is young adult fiction. I vividly remember one scene in which the narrator, a young boy, goes with his mother to the station to meet the soldier they'll be hosting, who then turns out to be black. The boy, without thinking, wipes his hand on his trouser leg after shaking hands. [more inside]
posted by ianso on Sep 4, 2014 - 1 answer

Why is Russia?

I have time to read and I would like to learn about recent and current political and social events in Russia. So where is a good place to start learning about recent Russian history? Books, films, anything. (Influenced by this Meta post).
posted by smallvictories on Sep 4, 2014 - 12 answers

So I bought a time machine … well it looks more like a plane ticket!

I’m going to be in Greece for around two weeks in mid-September, and am hoping for some advice in how to best immerse myself in Classical and Hellenistic history and art – as well as the practicalities and logistics of the present day! [more inside]
posted by an opinicus on Aug 29, 2014 - 5 answers

Looking for sources on the history of the New York Times

I'm currently working on a project that involves figuring out the editorial policy of the New York times historically (specifically in the first 50 years or so of its existance as a newspaper). Any thoughts on where to start? [more inside]
posted by rainbowbrite on Aug 29, 2014 - 6 answers

History of the USA ..but in an interesting way

I am looking to read up on the history of USA and need book recommendations [more inside]
posted by jellyjam on Aug 28, 2014 - 21 answers

What modern beer tastes most like old-fashioned beer?

I was thinking about the Ken Burns Prohibition documentary today, and it got me thinking: if I wanted to find what beer tasted like in the United States a century ago, what would I try? [more inside]
posted by 4ster on Aug 23, 2014 - 23 answers

Recommendations for books about Red Clydeside

I recently found out that I'm not the only red sheep in my otherwise right-wing family. Apparently my great-grandmother was good pals with James Maxton and some of the other Scottish socialists of the day. I'm looking for book recommendations about Maxton and Red Clydeside in general.
posted by atropos on Aug 22, 2014 - 2 answers

State of French scientific knowledge about the moon in 1878

need some pointers as to research strategies/leads to find out about the state of the art knowledge about the moon in 1878, with particular reference to things arising in or popular in the French scientific community. First thoughts are Times digital archive and to look for an encyclopaedia of similar date. Any leads appreciated.
posted by aesop on Aug 20, 2014 - 9 answers

Designing a poster for my friend's movie

So my friend just completed post for her movie and she asked me to do a simple poster for it. The movie is about how the growth of the feminist movement in Northern Ireland under British rule. I am giving her many options, some of which are specific to the time and place and some of which are more about women in general. Thoughts? [more inside]
posted by cyrusw8 on Aug 17, 2014 - 6 answers

How did peasants in the Middle Ages survive the winter?

What strategies were used by peasants of medieval Europe to prepare for and survive the harsh winter months? [more inside]
posted by dontjumplarry on Aug 16, 2014 - 34 answers

Calling all virologists - important events in virology needed!

I'm preparing a timeline of important virology-related events for work. We have some HIV-related and some bacteriophage-related material as well as some cancer-related stuff and some "greatest hits" (x-ray diffraction patterns, transduction, discovery of interferon). I'd like to expand our timeline to cover more diverse kinds of virology-related stuff. [more inside]
posted by Frowner on Aug 15, 2014 - 8 answers

Help me think of some small but significant buyable business artifacts

I work at a business school, and want to decorate my office with some cool artifacts that represent business and innovation. As a family heirloom, I already have a piece of the original Vanguard rocket (it exploded on launch). I have also bought a beautiful piece of Fordite. What other beautiful or interesting wall-mountable small artifacts could I buy that would fit with this collection? I have been thinking about icononic microchips, electronic or industrial equipment, or other related stuff, nothing too pricey. Any ideas - links to places to purchase would be great, too...
posted by blahblahblah on Aug 9, 2014 - 14 answers

Road scholar

Let's say you have a kid - 10-15 years old, so maybe grades 5-10 - and you decide to pull them out of school for a year. During that time, you are going to drive around the United States with the goal of learning, in an authentic way, as much as possible about American history, culture, and geography. Where do you go, and what do you read? [more inside]
posted by goodbyewaffles on Aug 9, 2014 - 15 answers

Unemployment figures for Germany during the Weimar Republic?

I need to show unemployment figures for Germany during the Weimar Republic (starting no later than 1923) in a way that consistently compares apples to apples and not apples to oranges -- i.e., total number of unemployed OR total percentage of workforce, but not sometimes one and sometimes the other. (Having both would be ideal.) I would also prefer a specific month for each figure, if possible, rather than just the year (i.e., "Unemployment reaches 5.1 million in September 1932" is more useful than "Unemployment reaches 5.1 million in 1932"). [more inside]
posted by scody on Aug 6, 2014 - 3 answers

Before gas, did candles really illuminate rooms well?

Watching A period piece film and wondering if, before gas and electric lighting, having a roomful of candles ever really illuminated things as much as they appear here or were all large rooms of the time like spotily-lit caverns after dark? [more inside]
posted by Senor Cardgage on Jul 28, 2014 - 17 answers

Life in a large and wealthy Victorian home

I want to know more about the material culture of a large English country house or great house in the Victorian era. [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet on Jul 26, 2014 - 12 answers

Pairing fiction with eras in common

So two books I really love are Heaven to Betsy and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I love how they go into the details of the period they take place, particularly the fashion and food. It was also only recently I realised that they take place roughly around the same era. It really surprised me because they are so completely different to one another. Francie has an alcoholic father and the family can barely get food on the table; Betsy's biggest ordeal is falling in love with a boy that doesn't like her back and not studying for an essay contest. So my question is two-fold and is aimed at requesting book suggestions. [more inside]
posted by like_neon on Jul 25, 2014 - 23 answers

Recommend me some books about old sailing ships

I'm in a mood to read non-fiction history books dealing with sailing ships. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Bulgaroktonos on Jul 22, 2014 - 22 answers

How can you recognize a secure person if you’re insecure?

Am I ruining a great relationship with my anxiety or am I anxious because my relationship is not great? Is there a way to tell the difference between irrational anxiety and alarm bells? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 20, 2014 - 9 answers

Best Books on shipping mail/news/orders/etc?

What is the best book on the history of sending mail, news, orders and other information by ship?
posted by michaelh on Jul 18, 2014 - 1 answer

Book recommendation: a good historical overview of the US in the 1980s?

I am seeking recommendations for (reputable/peer-reviewed) essays or books that could help me develop a nuanced but well-rounded understanding of the social, political, and economic climate in 1980s America (economic deregulation is a particular point of interest). [more inside]
posted by coastisclear on Jul 14, 2014 - 8 answers

The weirdness of manuscript copyright law (UK version)

In the case of unpublished historical manuscripts in copyright till 2039 in the UK, where the original author is long dead and there is no designated copyright holder, how does copyright work once you get down a generation or two and have multiple heirs of seemingly equal standing? (eg. several grandchildren or multiple great nieces and nephews) Must everyone be consulted and agree, or if a will never mentioned the manuscript but left everything to a given child or even a non-family member, do only their heirs count and not the other grandkids etc? [more inside]
posted by Flitcraft on Jul 8, 2014 - 3 answers

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